Cacao Ceremony vs. Celebration

Cacao is a sacred plant that grows from the Earth Some say it comes from another planet as Gift from the Gods. Originally growing in the Americas all the way from the Amazon to the South of Mexico.

Cacao grows best in diverse ecosystems with many different companion plants. Cacao plays an important role in regenerating our planet within nature, society, economics, cultures and communities.

Harmony Regeneration visited a sacred womens coop in Guatemala to observe, learn, and participate in traditional ceremony.

The Womens Coop is an example of resistance and regeneration of their culture and community. Supporting the elders and keeping the traditions that the ancestors have passed on, for using cacao and growing a food forest.

Local woman in central America are the most marginalized victims of the Patriarchal system but at the same time are pillars of the family and keepers of traditions for the next generations.

Without any support from the government or surrounding community, and living amongst sugar cane plantations that have brought many horrible practices to the area, these 13 women and their community are persisting and envisioning a better future for the next generation being the lungs of the area.

12 years ago this womens coop rose as weavers of textiles, sewing their dreams together, and planting seeds, educating themselves on how to grow cacao. There have been transformations and transitions in this time as no income was produced until the last few years.

Many traditional cultures used cacao for thousands of years for currency, food, drink and many other sacred uses.  

The REAL cacao ceremony includes all aspects from growing to processing.

The celebration occurs when we consume the cacao, connecting ourselves to the source from seed to food and knowing the hands that make all cacao dreams possible.

The first part of ceremony begins with growing and caring for the trees until harvesting the fruits.

After breaking the cacao shell open, we suck the juices of the sweet fruit that surrounds the seeds, imprinting our natural bacteria to start the fermentation process. Traditionally, wrapping the seeds in banana leaves for 5 days.

The cacao is dried in the sun for 3 to 5 days, depending on the climate.

Next, the beans are lightly toasted over fire, moving them slowly until the skins begin to crack.

The skins are removed by hand, so that the seeds are separated.

All the remaining shells and debris are fanned away. Once the cacao beans are deshelled, they are traditionally hand ground with stones. The Womens coop rents a neighbor’s gasoline powered grinding machine that processes the cacao in bigger batches much quicker than by hand. Lastly,  the melted cacao is placed in 1 pound molds, lined with banana leaves that have been softened in the oven.

We celebrated coming together, sharing cacao, and opening our hearts to the greater possibilities of regenerating harmony in different communities.

The celebration occurs when we consume the cacao, connecting ourselves to the source from seed to food and knowing the hands that make all cacao dreams possible.

When we come together and share cacao, we are opening our hearts to the greater possibilities of regenerating harmony within ourselves, each other and the relationships we have with everything.